Chinese dumpling sauce is a real burst of flavor: it's tangy, sweet, salty, sometimes spicy, and always delicious! Even better, it can be made in 1 minute using 4 simple ingredients, making it the perfect sauce for the time-poor!
⭐ Why This Recipe is a Star
- Dumpling dipping sauce is super easy to make and delicious: Homemade sauce is so simple to put together, requiring only 4 main ingredients! And it tastes better than anything from a jar which is full of preservatives! If you have a good dumpling sauce, it doesn't matter if you use store-bought dumplings or homemade!
- Fast and versatile: the basic version literally comes together in 1 minute. You can use it for Chinese dumplings, Korean mandu, Japanese gyoza and even Chinese scallion pancakes!
- Meal prep friendly: the sauce lasts for a while so you can make a huge batch and use it for the entire week!
You will need:
- Chinkiang vinegar: don't substitute Chinese black vinegar with rice vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. (Use the white vinegars if you want to make a Japanese or Korean dipping sauce.) Though both are Asian vinegars, the former has a savouriness to it that rice vinegar does not. It's available at most Asian supermarkets but if you can't get it, use balsamic vinegar instead.
- Light Soy Sauce: This is the "regular soy sauce" you find on the tables of Chinese restaurants. Do not use dark soy sauce, thick soy sauce or sweet soy sauce instead- they're not the same thing! If you are gluten intolerant, try some of these GF soy sauce substitutes.
- White Sugar: granulated or caster is good. You will also need hot water to dissolve the grains. (If you're going for authenticity, I don't recommend brown sugar or honey as a substitute.)
- Sesame Oil: readily available even in mainstream supermarkets. If not, you can DIY your own sesame oil too.
- Optional: lightly toasted sesame seeds and sliced spring onions will give the Asian dipping sauce texture and make it taste even better.
📖 Variations & Substitutes
Other easy dumpling sauce recipes include:
- Spicy dumpling sauce: Add sliced red chilli, chili oil or red pepper flakes in a pinch. I use 1 sliced small red chili, or you can do it to taste!
- Garlicky sauce: add 1 Tablespoon of minced raw garlic- or more if you're a garlic lover!
- Gluten-free: If you're GF, use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari instead. Also, skip the black vinegar and use traditional balsamic vinegar. (But note that there are a lot of modern versions which may contain wheat, so always check the label!)
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
- If using, lightly toast the sesame seeds.
- Add the hot water to the sugar in a small bowl. Stir.
- Next, add the rest of the ingredients. (The order is important, as we need the heat from the hot water to melt the sugar. If you dilute the hot water with the (not hot) soy sauce etc, the temperature will go down and the sugar may not melt.)
- Use immediately or store in the fridge.
🥡 How to Store
Extra dumpling sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks.
Note: If using minced garlic, please finish within 2-3 days.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
Tip #1: For longer storage, don't add the fresh ingredients (spring onions, chili and garlic) till you're about to serve.
🥗 Other Recipes
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Easy Chinese dumpling Sauce
- Bowl and spoon/ fork
- Optional: pan and wooden spatula if toasting the sesame seeds yourself
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon hot water
- 2 Tablespoons Chinkiang black vinegar Substitute: balsamic vinegar. You can use a white vinegar like white rice vinegar if you're making a Japanese dipping sauce or a Korean one.
- 1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Add the hot water to the sugar in a small bowl. Stir.Note: The order is important, as we need the heat from the hot water to melt the sugar. If you dilute the hot water with the (not hot) soy sauce etc, the temperature will go down and the sugar may not melt.
- Next, add the rest of the ingredients.Note: for longer storage, don't add the fresh ingredients (fresh chili, fresh garlic, spring onions etc) till just before you want to serve.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge.
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